There’s nothing like a nice cup of tea to help you relax after a long day of work.
When it comes to tea, the most popular way of steeping up a cup is by plunging a tea bag into boiled water.
And while many people simply throw away used tea bags and leaves, there are actually many ways to reuse them and reduce your waste!
As it turns out, tea isn’t just good at providing you with antioxidants.
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Here are 11 clever ways to reuse tea bags.
Just make sure to use high-quality tea packed in a natural fiber compostable bag.
You can also just pack loose tea leaves in muslin, twist and tie off!
1. Soothe A Sunburn
Black tea contains tannic acid, which helps heal burns and is often combined with mint leaves to help cool the skin (1).
To use, pour 4 cups of boiling water in a medium saucepan with two cups of fresh mint leaves and three or four tea bags. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes and strain. Let it cool, transfer to a large glass jar and store in your refrigerator. Once cold, use an old clean washcloth to apply it to your skin.
2. Eliminate Dark Circles
To help eliminate the appearance of dark circles, store your used green tea bags in the fridge and apply under your eyes first thing in the morning for 5-10 minutes. The tea will soothe your skin while the cold will reduce swelling.
3. Heal Burns
As with sunburns, tea can help relieve the pain of burns when applied topically. Just place 2-3 cool, wet bags of black tea over your burn and secure it with gauze. Replace the bags as needed and repeat until healed (2).
4. Healthy Hair
Tea can actually be used as a rinse to promote hair health. In fact, green tea stimulates hair growth and heals dandruff & psoriasis. On the other hand, black tea strengthens and thickens hair while both kinds of tea prevent shedding. All you need to do is prepare 4 cups and use it as a final rinse after washing and conditioning your hair (3).
5. Shrink Warts
To fight a stubborn wart, drink 3 cups of green tea everyday and apply the cooled used tea bags directly to your skin 3 times daily for 5-10 minutes at a time until the wart disappears.
6. Neutralize Shoe Odor
Smelly shoes can stick up your foyer, closet or even your home. And while many products exist to combat foot odor, they often contain toxic chemical and fragrances. To use, place 2-3 dry tea bags per shoe and leave for 24-48 hours to freshen your footwear (4).
7. Natural Fungicide
To prevent the growth of harmful fungus in your garden, place 16 chamomile tea bags (equivalent to 2 cups of chamomile flowers and simmer for 20 minutes in a saucepan filled with 2 quarts of boiling water. Remove from heat and let the chamomile infuse for a few more hours. Strain and pour over seedlings to help them grow. Repeat as necessary until your plants mature (5).
8. Clean Dishes
To tackle extra greasy dishes and baked-on gunk, soak with your dishes in a sink full of hot water, soap and a few bags of black tea. This will help to loosen up grime and cut grease.
9. Clean Your Mirror
Ditch the Windex and use strong Irish breakfast tea instead. Steep 3 tea bags in 8oz of boiling water. And let it cool for an hour. Pour it into a spray bottle and use it as you would any regular cleaning product. You’ll have a streak-free shiny mirror (6)!
10. Remove Onion Odor
To get rid of stubborn onion smell from your hands and cutting board, scrub them down with a wet teabag.
11. Ease Pain
If you run out of gauze after surgery, especially after tooth extractions, place tea bags in boiling water to sterilize it before use. Remove it from the water and let it cool. Then, place the bags in your mouth near your wound and gently bite it (7).